Sunday, 29 November 2015

Mother's Ruin

After last week's Whiskey tasting with Miss R, I dragged her to a gin tasting to get her back. It turned out that not only did we have the usual 6 gins to try, the guy from Anno distillery was there too so we got to try all of his gins too!

Anno is distilled in a little village in Kent, Andy and Norman were both chemists by trade and set up business a few years ago when they bought some copper stills from Germany. I wasn't as keen on the flavoured ones, but I like the regular Anno gin, and I really loved the Anno 60 - that was to celebrate Andy and Norman's 60th birthdays this year. It is 60%, which is just over 57% which is Navy strength, the strength alcohol needed to be to make sure it hadn't been watered down on the voyage - they used to put in on some gunpowder and set it alight and if it failed to burn then it had been watered down.

We met a lovely couple there who had been round the distillery tour and they recommended it. I kept in touch with the lady and she gave me some really great beer recommendations - including beer that tastes of coffee (BBNo) and a beer that tastes like bacon! (Mikeler).

After that we got down to the other gins. We looked at another local one called Maiden, which is made in Maidstone. I really didn't like the packaging, and the gin was pretty rough around the edges for me. I quite liked the William Chase, that was pretty smooth. We tried some genever, I had never had that, that is somewhere between a whiskey and a gin and I wasn't overly keen on that. I really quite liked the Dogs Nose, that was pretty smooth with some really nice botanicals and a much softer flavour than I was expecting from the packaging. My favourite of the evening was Jinzu, it is flavoured with cherry blossoms and has a really creamy finish.

Again we got pretty drunk - especially given that we had double the amount! This time, we stopped off at Munchies on the way home and I got a jacket potato, much more sensible!

Monday, 23 November 2015

Magical Mystery Tour

Me getting on the bus after work today

Me: I'd like to go to East Station, please
Bus driver: What do you want to go there for?
Me: Because I live near there.
Driver: You don't want to go there!
Me: Where would you like to take me then?
Driver: We'll go to Southend to the seaside and have fish n chips.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Bourbon Tasting

Yesterday I went with the lovely Miss R to a bourbon tasting session at our local wine shop. She's been to a few tasting sessions there but I never have so this was very exciting. I really didn't know what to expect - we rocked up at 8pm to the shop, and they had glasses and several bottles lined up on the counter.

The proprietor Jamie poured out the first one and apologised - usually his wife hosts these because she knows a lot more about spirits than he does but she is ill today. Since I don't know anything about bourbon it didn't bother me in the slightest. We tried several including Mellow Corn, which I wasn't keen on, Elijah Craig which was alright and some Wild Turkey, among other things. He told us about how the charred barrels came from an accident at the Elijah Craig place, where the barn was struck with lightning and the barrels got charred. When they took the spirits out at the end, they turned out all the better for that, and so they carried on charring the barrels to make the whiskey. My favourite one was in a quirky bottle, and was much smoother than the rest. I guess I won't be much of a bourbon drinker!

Miss R ended up talking to a chap about her studies and I got chatting to his friend who is an architect, he was really funny and we got pretty merry together. It was fun! Since I got dragged along to whiskey, I'm getting my revenge with a gin tasting next week. Should be fun!